Discover the central parts of Portugal
Many different destinations wait to be discovered and explored in the central region of Portugal, from historical cities, a magnificent coastline, historical villages in unspoiled landscapes and several natural parks. For example, some of the most famous and popular spots for surf in Portugal, such as Nazaré and Peniche, are found in central Portugal. Coimbra is the most important city in the region and hosts one of the oldest universities in the world. The historic buildings of the university are at the centre of the life of the city and its charming and ancient buildings are all around one. Another city worth visiting in the region is Aveiro. There you can walk along the city canals, see the lagoon and visit some of the surrounding beaches.
In addition to these, we want to introduce you to some other less well known places that we recommend you to discover.
Several smaller cities and towns with historic significance are worth a visit in the region. Óbidos is a fortified town on a hilltop with well-preserved architecture. Its streets retain a medieval charm and are a popular tourist destination. Similarly, the castles in Ourém and Leiria give these cities their special character. Not far away, the Batalha monastery and the Convent of Christ in Tomar are two UNESCO world heritage sites worth visiting. There is also S.Pedro de Moel, a seaside village with an elegant architectural style and an impressive beach. Foz do Arelho, Paredes da Vitoria and Costa Nova are other splendid beaches that are still unspoiled and away from the main tourist destination circuits in the region.
In the region it is also possible to find several mountain tourism destinations. The national park of Serra D’Aire and Candeiros preserves a limestone massif with many geological formations; there are caves, plateaus and sinkholes such as the one in Fórnea - Porto de Mós (39.557104, -8.807784). Nearby in Alvados, you are on the fringe of the park, and there are many comfortable places to stay. In the central region there is the Serra da Estrela National park, the largest and highest mountain in mainland Portugal. We recommend a stay in Manteigas, in a valley of the mountain range, where you can look across at the amazing mountain landscape with forest-draped slopes. Nearby, the Serra do Caramulo and Serra da Lousã present majestic landscapes, typical stone villages and pure water streams. Similarly, we highly recommend you to consider rural tourism in the historic villages, for instance Belmonte, Sortelha or Piodão, where you have splendid scenery and a variety of rural accommodation of a high standard.
In summary, there are many more hidden destinations to be explored in the central region of Portugal. Find out more from the pages that we have prepared telling you about localities and recommending more things about the region.